LEWISTON, Idaho – The Lewis-Clark State College men’s basketball team has spent the 2012-13 season to this point on a run that has bested any other in the history of the program.
The Warriors are ranked 11th in the NAIA Division I Top 25 Coaches’ Poll and have 16 wins to start the season, leaving them as one of just three remaining unbeaten programs in the nation along with Lee (Tenn.) and Columbia (Mo.).
On Thursday, LCSC will have a chance to make another statement regarding its case as one of the NAIA’s very best when No. 7 Westminster comes to call at the Activity Center. The game will also have a tremendous bearing on the Frontier Conference race as well, with a rematch between the Warriors and Griffins coming in Salt Lake City on Feb. 2.
It’s Dollar Night at LCSC, so all fans that come out to watch the Warrior men and women face off against the Griffins will be able to purchase general admission tickets, hot dogs, soda and popcorn for just $1. The evening is also billed as Alumni Night and all LCSC alumni will receive free admission.
Potlatch No. 1 Federal Credit Union is sponsoring the games.
The Warrior men are coming off a pair of blowout victories over Concordia-Alberta on Dec. 30-31, beating the Thunder by 77 and 66 points, respectively. LCSC is ranked first in all of NAIA Division I in total defensive rebounds per game (25.3), scoring margin (32), scoring defense per game (55.4) and total rebound margin (15.8), and are top five in a host of other categories on both sides of the ball.
Senior forward P.J. Bolte leads the Warriors with 18.3 points and 6.9 rebounds per game and junior guard Robert Ellis quarterbacks the offense (3.8 assists per game) and defense (sixth in nation with 37 steals).
Jake Orchard, a senior guard who was named the Frontier Conference’s Preseason Player of the Year, leads Westminster with 13.1 points per game. Colton Moon is shooting over 50 percent beyond the 3-point line and has made 33 triples so far for the 13-1 Griffins.
Westminster’s lone defeat came against Westmont (Calif.) in Las Vegas on Nov. 10, but the Griffins avenged that loss by roaring back late to beat No. 5 Westmont in the championship game of the Tom Byron Classic in Santa Barbara, Calif. on Dec. 29.
Before the men’s game tips off at 7:30 p.m., the fifth-ranked Westminster women’s team battles Lewis-Clark State in a game scheduled for a 5:30 start.
The Griffins come into Lewiston as winners of four straight, including a 62-29 thrashing of No. 4 Westmont in Santa Barbara, Calif. on Dec. 29. Westminster is led by the inside-outside combination of senior post Cydney Tibbits (13.7 ppg, 7.9 rpg) and senior point guard Nicole Yazzie (12.6 ppg, 5.2 apg).
LCSC beat the Griffins in two of the three meetings between the teams last season, including a 55-49 victory in the Frontier Conference championship game in Salt Lake City.
Senior guard Annie Kane (Lapwai, ID; Lapwai HS) paces the Warriors with 13.7 points per game, and is shooting 48 percent from the field and 49 percent (24-for-49) from 3-point range.